American Idol Last Night
January 26, 2012 by staff
American Idol Last Night, Last night’s American Idol took us away from the busy, bleating cities, out of the smog and smoke to a crisp and clean and, most importantly of all, monied place that the locals call Aspen. The non-locals call it that too, but the the locals, or rather the seasonal locals, say it in a much richer way. But yeah, Aspen. That’s where Idol went last night.
It seemed like a strange choice. I mean, sure it’s fun to change it up once in a while and avoid the Phoenixes of this nation, but isn’t Aspen kind of hard to get to? Like, you have to take the small plane there? That makes it pretty hard on all the contestants, and maybe even keeps some away. That’s probably why last night’s episode showed such a lackluster display of dopes and weirdos. All the really good singers or the really crazy people were like “Oh wait, it’s where? Aspen? No, I’m not getting on the small plane, screw that. I’m just gonna wait right here in Phoenix until they come to me.” Aspen. Whose idea was this? Ryan’s, probably. Ryan wanted a little romantic mountain retreat. Ryan wanted to sit out in a hot tub in a soft evening snow and drink a glass of wine and just chill the f out, you know? Before all this craziness really got started. And I guess we can’t begrudge him that, can we? Ryan needs his Ryan time. Let Ryan have his Ryan Time. And if that Ryan Time happens to involve some strapping young “friend” in fur shawl and little else, well who are we to say anything. This is still America, after all.
But yes, Aspen was a bit dull, dear Idolfreaks. But there were some highlights! There was a little young wood nymph with crooked teeth who sang a sweet “Tell Me Something Good” by Chaka-Chaka Khan. Yes, a sweet version of that song is possible. It’s possible when you’re a “person” who’s been whittled out of a sprig of a birch tree and put in hippie clothes and taught to be a log cabin-dwelling free spirit. Which is what this girl was! Jennifer Lopez said she sounded like Joni Mitchell or something like that, some reference to Joni Mitchell, which was vaguely surprising in a “Jennifer Lopez draws comparisons to Joni Mitchell?” kind of way. And she wasn’t wrong, really. I mean, we’re still talking about American Idol here, so the comparison I would draw would be Crystal Bowersox more than Joni Mitchell, but yeah, sure. An interesting singer not terribly concerned with sex appeal. If it takes Joni Mitchell to reach that conclusion, then so be it. I like this little twig, like her hippie shrugging at the weird Colorado irony of her being a vegetarian who works in meat packing, liked her long haired boyfriend who was shown escorting her across some kind of wooden bridge somewhere in the woods. And I liked her mom, her regular old mom with big-framed glasses and a triangle of brown hair, waiting for her daughter in an old Talbot’s houndstooth jacket, something she picked up once after work, feeling free and fizzy one spring night in 1987, and still drags out for special occasions. “Did you see?” she said one day not too long ago, poking her head into her daughter’s room. “The magazines say houndstooth is back. Now who’s cool with her jacket, huh?” And the singing sprig shrugged her shoulders and said “That’s great, ma,” and Ma smiled and said “Chili’s on in a little bit,” and that was one evening.
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